Tuesday, November 29. 2005
When Buddhism arrived in China a couple of millennia back it found fertile ground to spread its beliefs, since the common Chinese religion of that time, Taoism, shared many similarities of view with the Buddha's teaching. The idea of dependent origination, for example, is a precise reflection of the philosophy presented in the first verse of the Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu.
Whether it is history or mythology is open to debate by historians, but the story has that Hui-neng himself was an illiterate woodsman when he was enlightened. He overheard one line from the Diamond Sutra: "Let your mind function freely without abiding anywhere or in anything." (John Wu trans.) Note how easily this correlates with the "watercourse way" of Taoism's "go with the flow." In fact Hui-neng (supposedly - history is fuzzy) described himself as a "simple, mindless man of Tao," a phrase that recurs in the sermons of Huang-po and Lin-chi.
Lin-chi began his sermons by addressing his monks as "followers of Tao." The phrase "to attain Tao" was synonymous with enlightenment. The common metaphor was that Buddhism was the father and Taoism the mother of the child Ch'an.
A telling episode in Chinese history occurred in 845 AD when the (Taoist) emperor Wu-tsung proclaimed that all the orthodox Buddhist monasteries should be closed. Curiously he did not consider Ch'an monasteries to be Buddhist and overlooked them. Not only were the Ch'an monasteries spared, the prince Suan-tsung who would be the next emperor went to one of them, Hsien-kuan (Hsiang-yen's) to study. Huang-po came to visit and impishly made a point of doing obeisance to a statue of Buddha right under the Prince's nose. (In the following the Prince's lines reflect Hui-neng's teaching.)
Said Suan-tsung: "In our pursuit of Tao, we must not be attached to the Buddha, nor to the Dharma, nor to sanga. What does your reverence seek after in performing these rites of obeisance?"
Huang-po: "I am attached neither to the Buddha, nor to the Dharma, nor to sanga. I am only performing the usual rites."
Suan-tsung: "What is the use of rites?"
Huang-po gave him a slap.
Suan-tsung: "You are being too rough!"
Huang-po: "What kind of thing do you find here in this place that you should speak of 'rough' and 'refined'?" And he gave him another slap.
If this story makes it seem that Huang-po was a confirmed Buddhist it is well to keep in mind a line from one of his sermons: "Adoration of and devotion to all the Buddhas in the universe are nothing in comparison to following a single mindless man of Tao." (Note - this probably refers to Hui-neng.)
Here's some from a Lin-chi sermon: "The true follower of Tao does not grasp at the Buddha, nor at bodhisattvas, nor at the arhats, nor at the exceeding glories of the three realms. In his transcendental independence and untrammeled freedom, he adheres to nothing. Spare yourself the vain labour of discriminating and grasping at appearances and in a single instant you will realize Tao with spontaneous ease."
Lin-chi gets pronounced Rinzai in Japanese and inspires the most famous branch of Japanese Zen Buddhism. Naturally as time passes the Taoist elements of the teaching recede and become rather invisible.
One Taoist philosopher whose spirit is quite evident in Lin-chi's school is Chuang Tzu from the 3rd century BC. In a way he could be considered "father of the koan" for he had written:
"He who replies to one asking about Tao, does not know Tao. Although one may hear about Tao, he does not really hear about Tao. There is no such thing as asking about Tao. There is no such thing as answering such questions. To ask a question which cannot be answered is vain. To answer a question which cannot be answered is unreal. And one who thus meets the vain with the unreal is one who has no physical perception of the universe, and no mental perception of the origin of existence."
(Chuang-tzu, p. 289, H.A. Giles translation, Shanghai, 1926).
Grr grr, yes, well, here perhaps is the source of all the crazy answers that Ch'an masters gave to the question of "What is Tao?" There is really quite a range:
Monk: What is Tao? Hsiang-yen: A dragon is singing in the ancient forest! [or dry woods, dry wood, old wood, etc. - the variations have persisted.]
Oy, Kuei-shan is so polite, Ch'an for Confucians.
But the turning of the question back upon the questioner is basic Ch'an practice, "who are you?" is the only answer worthy as a reply. It is "ad homonym" but Ch'an is essentially about self-realization, so everything else is off-topic.
Importantly, Hui-neng had noted that at core the individual identity and the Tao were not distinguishable. In non-duality the subject and object blend..
Another Ch'an master clearly trained in the Taoist classics was Tung-shan. An early conversation:
Ch'u: "Oh how wonderful, how wonderful! The ineffable realms of Buddha and Tao!"
Tung-shan: "I would not ask about the realms of Buddha and Tao. I only wish to know the man who is speaking of the realms of Buddha and Tao."
Tung-shan: "Buddha and Tao are but names and words; why don't you resort to the true doctrine?"
Ch'u: "What does the true doctrine teach?"
Tung-shan: "When you have got at the idea, forget about the words."
This last is a direct quote from Chuang-tzu.
The shift between concepts and reality was a Chinese preoccupation. Words were definitely a topic, and Chuang-tzu the "authority."
Ch'an masters had much to say about the limited possibilities of "words." The following is :from a sermon by Chan master Yun-men (d. 949 AD):
"...If you set out in quest of words and sentences, cudgeling your brains with their logical meanings, working over a thousand possibilities and ten thousand subtle distinctions, and creating endless questions and debates, all you will gain is a glib tongue, while all the time getting farther and farther away from Tao, with no rest for your wandering. If it could be found in the (sutras) why should there be a special transmission outside the scripture?...But if you have really found your true self, then you can pass through fire without being burnt...The important thing is your experiential realization of this state."
(The Golden Age of Zen, J. Wu, 1969, p. 164-165).
Perhaps, that "words" don't suffice to explain it, is the ultimate lesson of both Tao and Ch'an.
A final note:
Ch'an is empty, there is nothing in it.
"Who are you?'
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
hi!,I really liike your writing so so much!
percentage we keep up a correspondence more about your post
on AOL?I need a specialist in this area to resolve my problem.
Maybe that's you! Having a look ahead to see you.
Link exchange is nothing else but it is simply placing the other person's blog link on your
page at suitable place and other person will also do similar
in favor of you.
Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
I'm kinda paranoid about losing everything I've worked hard on. Any recommendations?
Thank you for some other informative website. Where else may
I am getting that kind of info written in such a perfect manner?
I've a venture that I'm simply now running on, and I've been on the glance out
for such information.
Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely
well written article. I'll be sure to bookmark it and come back to
read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post.
I'll definitely comeback.
I've been browsing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be
a lot more useful than ever before.
I all the time emailed this website post page to all my contacts,
because if like to read it then my contacts will too.
Ôhat's up, this weekend is fastidious Ñn favor of me, for
the reaÑon that this occasion i am reading this impressive educational poÑt here at my residence.
This site was... how do you say it? Relevant!!
Finally I've found something which helped me. Thanks a lot!
Hi! This post couldn't be written any better!
Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him.
Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on muscle rev xtreme.
Hi there, I wish for to subscribe for this blog to take most recent updates, therefore where can i do it please assist.
Please let me know iif you're lopoking for a artÑcle
author for your blog. You havce some really good posts
and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take
some of thÐµ load Î¿ff, I'd really like to write somÐµ content for your Ð¬log
in exchange for a link back tÐ¾ mine. Please blÐ°st me aÐ°n email
if inteÐ³ested. Thanks!
Heya i'm for the primary time here. I came across this board and I in finding It truly helpful
& it helped me out much. I'm hoping to present one thing
back and help others like you helped me.
A powerful share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing just
a little evaluation on this. And he in truth purchased me breakfast as a result of I found it for him..
smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat!
However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I feel strongly about it and love reading extra on this topic.
If attainable, as you turn into expertise, would you thoughts updating your blog with extra
details? It is extremely helpful for me. Massive thumb up for this blog put up!
%Where is that wrench, anyway? A Power Shelf outlet is one great way to get started in organizing the garage.
Grooming your dog is a great way to bond and your dog has come
to trust you.
Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your post seem to
be running off the screen in Firefox. I'm not sure if this
is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I'd post to let you know.
The style and design look great though! Hope you get the problem solved soon. Kudos
I read this piece of writing fully regarding the resemblance of
newest and earlier technologies, it's remarkable article.
Hi, I log on to your blogs daily. Your humoristic style is witty,
keep up the good work!
It's really a nice and useful piece of info. I am happy
that you shared this useful information with us.
Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.
Very soon this site will be famous amid all blogging and site-building people, due to it's good content
ThisÂ isÂ howÂ theÂ gameÂ turnsÂ aÂ profit:Â YouÂ needÂ theÂ energyÂ toÂ keepÂ completingÂ tasksÂ andÂ makeÂ aÂ politeÂ ratingÂ onÂ yourÂ gigs.
Whether their celebrity character is male or female, men enjoy playing 'dress-up' with their character, or regularly changing their character's virtual clothes.
This celebrity sex tape was so notorious that it actually propelled Paris into an international star.
Throughout my pregnancy, my doctor thought there
is a good chance my baby would be a preemie.
I have been browsing online more than 4 hours today, yet I
never found any interesting article like yours. It's pretty worth enough for me.
In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content
as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.
I'm amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog
that's both educative and engaging, and let me
tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is
something too few men and women are speaking intelligently about.
I'm very happy I stumbled across this during my search for something regarding this.
I all the time emailed this blog post page to all my associates, as if
like to read it after that my friends will too.
Great delivery. Great arguments. Keeep up the great effort.
Thanks for some other informative web site. The place else may I am getting that kind of info written in such
an ideal means? I've a mission that I am simply
now working on, and I've been on the glance out for
You made some good points there. I looked on the internet for the issue and found many people will go along with your website.
Admiring the dedication you put into your website and in depth information you offer.
It's nice to come across a blog every once in a while
that isn't the same old rehashed information. Excellent
read! I've bookmarked your site and I'm adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.
Adore this site, wonderful information here, had been a wee bit sceptical in regards
to obtaining a steam shower unit for our house however, the information and
knowledge here sorted my head out, incredible thank you
Heya this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors
or if you have to manually code with HTML. I'm starting a
blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
wonderful points altogether, you just won a logo new reader.
What might you recommend about your put up that you made some days ago?
Those looking to learn more can check out the Kickstarter
page, of course, which has a preview video, while an older
video also remains available for viewing on You - Tube.
Born in 1950, I don't bear in mind our 1st Television, but my
mature sister and brother do. Your mission is to destroy the
totems without making the golden Idol (aka Tot) fall into the ground.
This really is definitely a plus to signing on with
this kind of a website. In addition to the daily Slot Tournaments, Go Casino sends players invitations and free entries to special tournaments.
If so, then you are in the appropriate location buddy.
Great goods from you, man. I've understand your stuff previous to and you're just too fantastic.
I actually like what you've acquired here, certainly like what you're saying and the way in which you say it.
You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it
sensible. I can't wait to read far more from you. This is actually a tremendous web
Drinks head All I need for its nose to be kept by the federal government out-of my business and
will be able to smoke within my home.
Transgender adults are not a new theory or issues in society.
m at the end of that search today and I want to share with you, what has worked for me over the years.
If so, then you are in the appropriate location buddy.
Its like you learn my thoughts! You appear to know a lot approximately this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
I believe that you simply could do with a few p.c.
to drive the message house a bit, however instead of that, this is fantastic blog.
An excellent read. I'll certainly be back.
This is a topic that's near to my heart... Best wishes! Exactly where are your contact
You can't live without a certain base level of salt. CMS is a document centric application which is used to manage documents.
Moreover, there is squash court, billiards and
a table tennis area.
Hey! This post couldn't be written any better! Reading this post reminds
me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this.
I will forward this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
Thanks for sharing!
My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find many of
your post's to be just what I'm looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write
content to suit your needs? I wouldn't mind creating a post or elaborating on a lot of the
subjects you write in relation to here. Again, awesome web site!
I will immediately grasp your rss feed as I can't
find your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service.
Do you have any? Kindly permit me recognize so that I may just
Thanks , I've recently been looking for information approximately this topic for a long time
and yours is the best I have came upon so far. However, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you sure in regards to the source?
This page certainly has all the info I wanted concerning
this subject and didn't know who to ask.
It's remarkable in favor of me to have a web page, which is helpful in favor
of my experience. thanks admin
Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I've truly
enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be
subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!
HÑ, I do bÐµlievÐµ this is an excellent website.
I Ñtumbledupon it I am going to revisit yet again since i have saqved as a favorite it.
Money and freedÖ m is the greatest way to Ï²hangÐµ, may you be rich and continue to guide other
Hi there! This post couldn't be written any better!
Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him.
Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!
The SMS marketing software is eazsy to understand and
convenient to operate. Pay attention to whom you are targeting, and
larn how to speak the same way they do in order to make them feel most welcome.
Traditional call-to-actions, like driving visitors to web forms and non-optimized pages can be very clunky in a
Terrific article! That is the kind of info that are meant to be shared around the internet.
Disgrace on the search engines for no longer positioning this post higher!
Come on over and seek advice from my web site .
Additionally, vitamin E supplements and plenty of water should also
be consumed during pregnancy to minimize stretch marks on the breast and to keep them supple.
A daily skin care ritual must include cleansing, toning and moisturizing.
Many Hollywood beauties rinse their face only with bottled water.
#126.96.36.199.1.2 à¸£à¸²à¸à¸²à¸à¸£à¸µà¸¡à¸à¸£à¸°à¸à¸±à¸à¸à¸£à¸§à¸à¸à¸ (Homepage) on 2015-05-17 07:21 (Reply)
%In addition they cost a small amount of, so anyone can afford them, even if you're looking for style and pattern.
Nice weblog right here! Also your web site quite a bit up very fast!
What web host are you using? Can I am getting your affiliate
hyperlink to your host? I want my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol
This design is incredible! You obviously know how to keep a reader amused.
Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to
start my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to say,
and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!
When you're done with dinner, at the end of the day, have an anise infusion for the same
purpose. This is true since yyou need to have so much discipline and
commitment. Cross your hands onn a chest(once you get good
at that you can place your palms on a corner
oof your head).
Hi there! Quick question that's totally off topic. Do you know
how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when browsing from my
iphone 4. I'm trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this issue.
If you have any suggestions, please share. Thanks!
Right here is the perfect web site for everyone who really wants
to understand this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will need toâ¦HaHa).
You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic which has been discussed for years.
Excellent stuff, just wonderful!
Hello there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your articles.
Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same subjects?
Thanks for this marvellous post, I'm happy I discovered this web site on search
It is not my first time to pay a visit this site, i am visiting this web site dailly and obtain pleasant information from here every day.
Thanks for every other informative blog. The place else may just I get
that kind of information written in such
a perfect manner? I've a mission that I'm simply now working on, and
I've been on the look out for such info.
Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely
believe that this website needs a great deal more attention. I'll probably be
returning to see more, thanks for the advice!
Incredible points. Great arguments. Keep up the great effort.
I'm not sure where you're getting your information, but good topic.
I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
Thanks for magnificent info I was looking for this info
for my mission.
If you do not want children to be invited to the wedding, do not put their names
on the invitation. Invitations to wedding serve guests at the wedding episode.
Even the most well-respected wedding invitation publishers like Carlson Craft, Birchcraft and Stylart offer cheap wedding invitations.
If some one wishes expert view about running a blog afterward i suggest him/her to visit this
blog, Keep up the pleasant work.
The sulphur, chlorine and other weathers in the ambience react with the copper,
silver or nickel in the gold fashion jewelry
as well as cause it to rust.
I don't even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was
good. I don't know who you are but certainly you're going
to a famous blogger if you aren't already Cheers!
Syndicate This Blog